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A Runner’s Diary: Mental Prep Before The Race

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I am a nervous wreck. I’m not kidding. The NYC Half Marathon is less than 24 hours away and I just don’t know if I’ll make it through.

Why? Since October, I have been bothered by shin splints. It has been so bad that I have had trouble keeping to the training schedule. The only long run was in Florida a month or so ago when I ran six miles.

After that, I can’t seem to figure out what to wear. Shorts? Pants? Friday was beautiful. It was almost 80 degrees. But, Sunday is supposed to be in the 40s or 50s.

I could wear one of the spring outfits that Brooks provided to me. They are lighter, more colorful, and breathable. Or, I can wear a dark color for winter that Nike provided to me. They sent me a pair of long running pants and gray tops. Both are perfect for wicking away the sweat. So, I may wear a combination of both, Nike and Brooks.

I have to wear my Team for Kids tank top no matter what. I raised more than $1600 for the charity that helps inner city kids learn about nutrition, health, and fitness. And I’m proud about that. But what happens if I can’t run the whole thing? I feel like the kids are counting on me.

The other thing I’m worried about is the route. The first part goes around Central Park. Central Park is very hilly. Not only that but we will have to do a lap and a half around the park. After that, we run down Broadway to Times Square, then over to the West Side and down to Battery Park. Thirteen miles is a long way. Don’t get fooled; this is going to be hard.

I’m also worried about my husband. He decided to run not too long ago after having knee surgery. I’m not too concerned about his knee. I’m very concerned about his back. He just went for an MRI and was diagnosed with a herniated disk. I’m concerned for his safety and he is being very stubborn about running the race with me.

The other thing is, he is faster than I am. It’s going to take a lot out of me to keep up with him. So I will try to go at my own pace on my own journey. It’s going to be hard not thinking about him. It’s also going to be hard not thinking about the shin splints and the pain in the backs of my legs.

Team for Kids sent out an email at the beginning of the week. They wrote the word of the week is JOY. They said, just be joyful for what you have accomplished and what you will accomplish. My joy will be running through a city that I truly love – running through various neighborhoods and being able to conquer something that I never thought I could ever conquer.

For me, it’s about the journey, but I really do want to reach the destination.

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About Hilary Topper